Sunday, March 30, 2008


I intended to include a brief mention/review of a movie J and I watched Friday night: No Reservations. On a whim I brought it home from work, thinking it might be something J and I could watch when I visited. I didn't really know anything about it other than perusing the back. Although I anticipated enjoying it, we were both pleasantly surprised with the film.
The story was cute. Perhaps about a third of it takes place in a restaurant kitchen, so if you have an interest in food or cooking you might particularly enjoy it. Although there is some small innuendo, for the most part the sex, language, adult situation is very minimal which was very refreshing and it felt like they were portraying reality.
The character development is well done. Kate is the head chef at an upscale restaurant and a control freak, perfectionist. This all makes her rather high strung and very closed off from change and close relationship with anyone. Through a series of events her niece Zoe is plopped into her life and suddenly Kate has to figure out how to balance her restaurant (which is indeed in her life) with learning how to relate to and help a kid. Throw into this mix an unwelcome sues chef, Nick--who is a bit unconventional with his ideas of running a kitchen (including listening to opera while cooking) and plans to get to know this chef he is working for--and you've got a recipe for a movie with the necessary tensions, resolutions, and romance to please a crowd.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Returning with little to add...

Where have I been for over a week? I'm not really sure what has filled my time, but apparently I have not been here writing about it (which leads me to believe much of it isn't terribly memorable).

Yesteday I made my bi-monthly trek up north to visit the boyfriend for the day. I always love the spring and I'm glad to see her sending tendrils of hope through crocuses and sunny days. And therefore I was a little surprised as I drove to the boyfriends that it is still winter there! I was driving on the interstate and looked over at ice-coated trees. By the end of yesterday much of the icey/snow had melted, but still, so different.

Last weekend we had a lovely Easter with lots of family. We had 16 people and a dog who thought she should also be treated to the sumptious feast--J did indulge her a couple bites, but this of course encourages her search for more people food. This is one of my favorite pictures from the day of my nephew C imitating my Brother 2.

After a long week with lots of activity--family Easter, work, babysitting, work, driving lots, work, and more work--I am now the temporary home of a cold I'd like to be rid of. I imagine some decent rest and a little time away from going, going, going, will do the trick. So, that's my plan. Lay low. Plus, while I was a work today, it seemed that no one could hear me well. In fact one woman asked for help, I agreed to help her and then before even asking me her question, she walked away kind of in a huff muttering she'd just figure it out herself. I looked at one of my co-workers who had witnessed the entire exchange and I said, "What's the matter?" In all seriousness he replied, "I think maybe it's your voice." I can't help that my voice is kind of high and squeeky for the moment. I stuck it out for 2/3 of the day and then came home early and napped for 4 hours. Nobody--co-workers or customers--really wanted me around anyway.

So, this is my slightly dull update on life. Enjoy until I find something of more interest to entertain you all.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


This morning I slid off the road on my way to work. My mind was very preoccupied and I took a curve much too fast. In my nearly 10 years of driving that's the first time I've done that. Thankfully no one was behind or in front of me and my resilient little car pulled back onto the road without any trouble. Man, it was a scary feeling to be turning the wheel, but still be careening forward into grass. God was totally there protecting me from what could have been a much worse situation.

Today was more of an introspective day and when I'm like that I need some quiet and some time to myself. At work that is hard to come by, so today during my lunch break, in an attempt at quiet, I put on my iPod shuffle and wrote a letter and then read for a bit. It was still noisy around me but I didn't have to participate. After lunch one of my co-workers walked past me and said, "Hey, when we were on break and you had headphones on, were you reading and listening to music at the same time?" I said that I was and he looked flabbergasted. "Wow! I've never met anyone that can do that. I mean I can read with some background noise, but you, you must be like a super genius!" While I'd beg to differ on my super genius status, I did think the comment was kind of cute. I guess, dear readers, if you can do both of those activities simultaneously, then you also are a super genius.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Word Encounter

I like words. I like knowing what words mean. When I encounter a word I'm unfamiliar with I think to myself, how do you not know this? (In case you're wondering, I can be a bit hard on myself. Perhaps even to the point of demanding perfection. It's a small problem.) I'm not actually upset that I don't know a word, but I feel that I ought to know or at least be able to deduce what the word means, which isn't always the case.

This evening I was finishing up reading a book of essays edited by Anne Fadiman--previously mentioned in a post that included her book of essays Ex Libris--called Rereadings. As I was reading I came across a word that the boyfriend tossed my way about this time last year. Blitzkrieg. I don't know if I'd heard it before then, but I clearly remember him using it when he would surprise ask me out on a date as we were leaving work. This was his subtle way of beginning our dating relationship...surprise attack. Right, J? I did, I think, look at him blankly when he said with his dimpled smile (so very happy I'd agreed to dinner), "I blitzkrieged you, didn't I?" He gave a rough definition of what he meant. And since then he occasionally uses the word. And ironically I've encountered that word several times since then. It's amazing how knowing something makes you alert to its presence in the world.

What I don't remember is whether the context of the word use has ever been other than a military reference (other than the boyfriend's use), which is where the word came from. The American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy gives this definition: A form of warfare used by German forces in World War II. In a blitzkrieg, troops in vehicles, such as tanks, made quick surprise strikes with support from airplanes. These tactics resulted in the swift German conquest of France in 1940 (see fall of France). Blitzkrieg is German for “lightning war.”

Do any of you have any thoughts or knowledge about the current use of blitzkrieg? And a special thank-you to J for expanding my word horizon.

Listening In

My location at work provides me much interesting listening as parents talk to their children. Sometimes this is in a voice of encouragement as the children successfully count on the big, colorful abacus. Sometimes this is a voice of anger as the children are disciplined for not minding. Sometimes this is with a voice of absentmindedness as the parent actually has no idea where the kid is, but thinks if they talk soothingly while they peruse books then the kid must be close by. Sometimes this is in a voice of excitement as the parents and children discover favorite books together. Sometimes this is a voice of reading as the child snuggles in the parent's lap as they sit in a corner with a book. Very frequently the voice of frustration comes through as parents try to keep track of kids and there are tears or attempted quiet threats that no books will be purchased. All manner of parenting skills can be observed within my small sphere of work.
Today, I heard a brief conversation that brought a smile to my face. This mom spoke to her daughter like her daughter was an intelligent being (you'd be amazed at how many parents talk down to the kids). The little, adopted girl (probably between 3 and 4) had two ponytail, sprigs, one above each ear--so cute. She walked over to me and held up one finger on each hand and said, "We're buying two Clifford books." I responded with proper excitement and then she went over to where her mom was looking through the books on the Clifford shelf. The little girl had quite a lot of energy and in the process knocked over some books on a shelf. Her mom told her to put them back and the little girl struggled to follow the instructions but the books kept flopping over and she said to her mom, "How do I do this?" Her mom glanced over and said, "You need leverage. Pull out the bottom of the book a little so it can lean back." The girl did this and it worked.
Seriously, though, how many parents are going to tell their 3-year-old, You need leverage? I'd never think to say that. But it was really kind of cute, their adult conversation.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Yesterday I was feeling quite lonely for my dear, sweet, far-away boyfriend. It's amazing how long 7 days can feel between a visit. I talked to him briefly over his lunch break, but it didn't suffice. A couple hours later, I was paged over the intercom at work. When I walked over to where I was called, a beautiful vase of flowers awaited me! From three hours away J managed to make my day. I've never been sent flowers before and I'm pretty sure I had a huge smile on my face when I saw those gorgeous flowers!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sister 3 battling hair.

I had issues putting these photos in order, but you get the idea. By the end she almost looks pleased doesn't she?

Sis 3 sometimes forgets things and she's told me she just can't help this forgetfulness. This can be leaving things behind at someones home, not returning a borrowed item, or as in the case of this week, leaving her brush at school while she's home on spring break. So, she has nothing to brush out her long, tangly hair.

Sis 3 and I have the same kind of hair, very straight, fine, tangly, and long (hers is currently longer than mine). This morning she asked to borrow a brush or a comb (I use an orange wide-toothed comb). Because I want to make sure that my comb is not misplaced--it's not very replaceable since I'm pretty sure it's been around since I was a little girl--I pulled out a brush I never use because it just doesn't get through all the layers of my hair. Sis 3 took it along in the car as we were driving. As she attempted to tug the brush through her hair she said, "This doesn't work." I have to admit that I kind of started laughing because I knew it wasn't going to be particularly easy for her, but I knew she could make it work and I didn't want to risk the loss of my favorite comb. After about 3 minutes she said, "Does that brush company not care that underneath the layer of smooth hair it's really tangly underneath?" She did eventually brush the tangles out and it looked rather nice. As you can already see, I photo documented the process as it was making me laugh. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A moment today...

I can't really qualify today as a bad day. However, it had its moments, including the following dialogue with a customer:

Man: (Mumbles a question I think has to do with where something is in the store.)

Me: Pardon?

Man: Where's the guy who buys stuff?

Me: (With a directional point) We have a buy counter in that corner where we have buyers.

Man: (slightly antagonistically) That's what I was asking. (then under his breath, I think he said) Why does everyone have to be a smart a** today?

Sometimes I am amazed at the attitudes/moods people bring into the environment of our store. It can be kind of toxic when you are the employee experiencing the brunt of it.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Cause and Effect

Overheard at work today:

I need to get a bookmark so I can start reading my book. (What? Since when does a person need a bookmark in order to read?)

I learned to read on Grace Livingstone Hill! (This proclaimed multiple times by a woman who said her grandma started her reading them when she was 6. What kind of grandma actually gives her 6-year-old granddaughter an inspirational romance novel to learn how to read?)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Movie Moment

The boyfriend has been gone from this city for a week now. And for me it's been a week of adjusting back to having my evenings mostly free. I miss having him around for the day to day, but I believe wholeheartedly in God's sovereignty in His working out many details for him to get the job he moved away for.

J is a friendly guy and left behind a string of restaurant workers and shop clerks that knew he wouldn't be frequenting their establishments any more.

Earlier this week I went out to nearby Chinese restaurant over my lunch break. I walked in and sat down at the table the boyfriend and I always sat at together (granted this was maybe once a month we'd go in together). I left his chair vacant and sat in my customary seat. I pulled a book from my bag and settled in. One of the woman walked over with the menu. She held two in her hand. Motioning to J's empty seat, she asked with a smile through her accent, "Is he coming?"

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Nature up close

The deer on the terrace in my background.

The huge giant turkey nearly getting hit crossing the road.

Neither of these are great photos, but you get the idea.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Nature in the city

This morning Mom opened my door and said, "You have to look out the bathroom window if you can see through the trees." Intrigued, I followed her into the bathroom. Far away on our terrace three deer sat in a row staring at the house. Mom said when she'd opened the shades in the kitchen all three were looking right at her. Then when we pulled up at church there was a very large turkey standing by the road. He was gobble-gobbling and nearly got run down by a car because he was too busy talking. Seriously, though, he was huge! When you live in the city you don't necessarily expect to encounter nature in such proximity. Not too long ago we had a beautiful red fox sniffing around the backyard. I like being reminded of God when I see unexpected nature sightings.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Road Weary

Two comments that brought a smile to my face this week:

He started out well. He knew his beverages. (In reference to a poor dining experience.)
For a hypochondriac, the view of a hospital is calming. (In reference to a window view.)

Yesterday I made my first trek up to see the boyfriend in his new place. The drive is right around a 6-hour round trip. Accomplished in one day, it is a bit tiring. However, it was worth it. Plus, I was able to help me bring some order into the chaos of moving in and I do love bringing order.

As I neared his place yesterday morning, an accident blocked all 4 lanes of the road I was travelling and all traffic was being directed onto a narrow, snow-covered street for a brief detour. While I don't enjoy detours in general, this time it was made worse because of the many, many semis that were joining all of us in this pass-by parade (traffic from the other direction was detoured through the same area, so we were passing on those narrow streets). I try to be an equitable driver and when a semi needed to turn the corner at a stop sign, I kept my car back from the intersection so he had room to turn. As he turned, his back wheels dipped into a ditch and I saw the truck sway my direction as if it wanted to tip over right onto the hood of my car. He kept turning and all of a sudden I realized that I was going to be crushed if I didn't start backing up really fast down that slippery road. Thankfully the person behind me wasn't very close. I narrowly escaped collision and then watched horrified as two more semis basically took advantage of my position and ran the stop sign, also coming very close to hitting my little Honda. I couldn't move. Then as a van turned I moved my car forward so I could continue on this unhappy, nowheart-pounding detour. But to no avail, another semi just blew through the stop sign and turned. I stared at the guy, threw up my hands, and talked loudly at him within my car as I backed my car up once again. He yelled out his window at me as if I was in the wrong and ridiculous for even thinking I should have any sort of right of way. I only made it through the intersection after that guy (who I glared out quite soundly), because the truck behind him had slid a slightly into the ditch and stopped all the traffic behind him. It was a bit disastrous.

Thankfully my drive home was much less eventful. It was dark and boring, but I did glimpse beautiful, soothing, twinkling stars. I even opened my moon roof cover and glanced up, but then I realized that the boyfriend would be horrified if he knew that I was looking up while driving at night, so I slid the stars out of view. But while I drove I pondered such things as the difference between picaresque (of or describing witty, amusing rogues or their adventures) and picturesque (visually charming as if resembling a painting). Lest you think these thoughts would more than likely put me to sleep rather than invigorate my mind, please realize I was also sporadically singing along with my iPod.
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